I was listening to back episodes of “This American Life” and I came across a story of somebody trying to commit suicide. This story got me thinking. Never in my darkest moments did I ever want to kill myself. The closest I came to that notion was wishing that there was a magic reset button so I could start my life over with a clean slate.
This made me look into myself a little more to find out why. The person in that episode felt utterly miserable and saw no reason to continue living a sad existence. Being an atheist I know there is no afterlife. I also have no impulse to procreate and continue the legacy of my DNA. I have no real ambition for greatness nor am I living a life of glamor. Yet despite these factors I don’t see suicide as a viable option. My life is pretty devoid of any meaning or grand vision. Yet I want to continue experiencing my mundane existence for as long as I can.
There is so much TV to watch, so many books to read, so many podcasts, audiobooks and music to listen to, so much comedy to experience and so many precious moments with my wife to foresee. I value the ordinary dullness of my life despite its lackluster. I have bad days like anyone else but eventually they go away.
It’s not even leaving those behind that might guilt me into staying alive. I just don’t want to miss any of my existence. Which isn’t to say that I want immortality or that long a life. I can’t imagine living past my 80’s with all the ailments that entails. I’ve embraced my mortality and don’t fear it. And I don’t think I’ll leave this earth with any real regrets. But I also don’t feel inclined to shorten my existence. It’ll come when it comes.